First Team
Isthmian League South East Tue 5 April The Belmont Ground
Whitstable Town
  • Doe (56')
Chichester City

Chichester came into the match on the back of a disappointing 3-0 loss at home against Corinthian, whereas the hosts, battling for Isthmian south east survival, beat Whitehawk last time out – a result that saw the departure of Hawks manager Ross Standen.

U23s player Jack Farrier replaced Ryan Davidson at right back and Lewis Hyde returned to central defence.

The Oystermen forged the first opportunity of the game after barely 60 seconds when Danny Walder slotted a through ball to Harry Goodger who couldn’t capitalise.

Chi’s Ethan Prichard then burst down the left flank only for George Monger to make a telling challenge.

Ben Mendoza struck a shot straight at Dan Eason three minutes in that the Whitstable keeper gathered easily enough.

His counterpart Kieran Magee held off Charlie Heatley seeking to get on another long ball before a super flick from Andy Drury and a neat one-two with Goodger sent skipper Jake Mackenzie away on the right. Prichard fouled Mackenzie and Monger wasted the set-piece.

Heatley and Drury posed a threat once more but the visitors’ back line held firm and steered the ball out for a throw-in.

Heatley then forced Magee into his first save, and the woodwork came to the keeper’s aid moments later when Drury’s audacious lob cracked off the crossbar and into the path of Heatley who blazed the follow-up wide.

A neat exchange of passes between six Chi players fizzled out eventually before on 17 minutes Whitstable won a corner which Walder took and Magee got something on.

Prichard broke again but a super tackle by Veron Nzinga snuffed out the danger.

Hyde coped admirably with Heatley’s rapid pace as the hosts probed on the left wing and Mackenzie’s cross from the other side was too close to Magee.

Walder tried his luck from distance with a free-kick that did little to trouble Magee.

Next, Ben Pashley over-played in his own penalty area and Heatley might have got in had it not been for a quick reaction from Magee.

Callum Overton then spurned Chichester’s best chance of the half on 28 minutes when he was unable to steer his effort either side of Eason.

Heatley fired one wide of the right hand stick with neither centre back prepared to dive in and Farrier headed safely back to Magee in the next attack.

Jack Hanson and Heatley combined and Magee did well to smother the subsequent shot.

Hyde headed a Drury delivery clear before Goodger bought a foul off Pashley and an airborne Rob Hutchings turned the free-kick out for a corner which eluded everyone.

Overton picked up the first yellow card of the match for a swipe on Drury and Walder hit his set-piece high and wide.

A coming together of Hanson and Magee resulted in a booking for the Whitstable player and some physio treatment for Hanson who was replaced by Montrell Deslandes.

Heatley turned Farrier and Magee crashed into another player when the cross came over.

The Chi keeper had to punch clear moments into the second half before Heatley went over in the box, but the referee had already blown for another incident.

Heatley did Farrier again only to shoot weakly.

The home side were then awarded a ‘ghost’ corner – the officials certain the ball had come off Hutchings.

Walder whipped this over and Doe powerfully headed home what proved to be the winner.

Hutchings opened up the hosts with a determined run on the hour before Goodger claimed another free-kick which Walder took and Magee missed.

Drury pounced on the loose ball but his attempt was blocked and sub Stephen Okoh collided with Magee.

Kaleem Haitham and Tyrone Madhani came on for Prichard and Farrier in a 65th minute double-substitution.

Goodger then had a cross deflected for a corner which came to nothing and Emmett Dunn’s diag to Overton was a little too strong.

Josh Clack, feeding off scraps all game, couldn’t get Lloyd Rowlatt’s pass under control before Chichester won a first corner which the Seasiders got away.

Haitham had a shot blocked before passing up another decent opportunity ahead of Clack fizzing one into the side-netting.

A jinking Haitham run took him past a couple of players but he drilled an attempt off target.

Hutchings’ shot on the swivel sailed over and Hyde headed into Eason’s arms.

It just wasn’t Chi’s night – Clack blew a glorious chance with five to go and Hyde headed a Madhani delivery just over in time added on.

So, Whitstable, who were beaten 2-1 in the reverse fixture and lost 4-0 at Oaklands Park in the FA Trophy, picked up a back-to-back league win for the first time this season.

Chi are back in Kent on Saturday 9th April at Herne Bay (Kick Off 3pm) before welcoming FA Vase finalists Littlehampton Town to Oaklands Park for the re-arranged RUR Cup quarter final on Tuesday 12th April (Kick Off 7:45pm).

Chichester – Magee, Farrier, Hutchings, Dunn, Hyde, Pashley, Rowlatt, Mendoza, Overton, Clack, Prichard. Subs: (Carroll, Coote, Madhani, Haitham, Potter)